What Led to the Fall in LEC Summer 2023’s Viewership?

The Remarkable Show of Mastery in the LEC Summer 2023 Finals by G2 Esports.

Unveiling the Championship

The LEC Summer Split 2023, a significant eSports event, drew to a close recently in the LEC Studio situated in Berlin, Germany. The championship commenced on June 17, marking a celebration of competitive gaming. However, a noteworthy aspect was the reduced viewer engagement this year, with a 32.4% fall in peak viewership in comparison to the prior event.

Participating Teams and the Final Showdown

  • Ten stalwart European teams participated in the fierce competition.
  • G2 Esports emerged as the champions, seizing a decisive 3-0 victory over Excel Esports in the Playoffs Grand Final.
  • G2 Esports pocketed the top prize of €40K and 180 LEC Championship Points.
  • Excel Esports, despite their loss in the final, bagged €25K and 150 LEC Championship Points.
  • The total prize pool amounted to €80K.

Key Performances

A usually dominating team, MAD Lions, didn’t seem to showcase their full potential. Although they had already secured their spot in the season-ending championship, their lack of initiative didn’t bode well for viewer engagement. KOI’s disappointing performance throughout the season and Team Vitality’s last-place finish, despite being a fan favorite, further deteriorated fans’ interest in the event.

The LEC Summer 2023 reached its peak viewership during the all-Spanish confrontation between MAD Lions and KOI on the third day of the first week. The former emerged victorious with a 1-0 win in this match. Interestingly, KOI, owned by Twitch superstar ibai, garners considerable attention in the League of Legends eSports scenario, irrespective of the tournament’s scale.

Top Matches and Teams

Another popular series, the face-off between KOI and Team Heretics, didn’t belong to the Playoffs stage but managed to make it to the top five most popular matches list. In this encounter, KOI clinched a 1-0 victory, further highlighting their popularity. In fact, ibai’s team made the most appearances on this leaderboard with three. Adding to this, the top two matches of the competition also found places on the podium, resulting in 16M Hours Watched and an average viewership of 172K over 93 hours and 45 minutes of airtime.

As expected, KOI was the most followed League of Legends team in this tournament. Furthermore, two of the top-five teams were Spanish, all of which made it to the Group Stage, but only one could advance to the Playoffs.

The coverage of the competition by ibai significantly contributed to the popularity of the event, making him the only individual channel on the most popular streamers’ list, following the official English channel of the league.

Language and Platform Dynamics

Regarding language dynamics, English held the majority share of hours watched in LEC Summer 2023, emulating the trend seen in the previous split, LEC Spring 2023. However, Portuguese saw a slight increase this time, surpassing Hungarian in terms of share.

Twitch stood unchallenged as the dominant platform, with YouTube being the only other contributor to the overall watch hours. While YouTube did see a minor 2% increase from the previous split, it remains to be seen if this trend will continue in the season-ending championship.

Comparing 2023 Events

Among the four LEC events organized in 2023, the LEC Summer 2023 ranks third in terms of watch time in hours and peak online viewers. The LEC Spring 2023 surpassed the others in peak viewers with 575K PV, while the season-opener LEC Winter 2023 observed the highest watch time with 25M HW.

EventRank (Watch Time)Rank (Peak Online Viewers)
LEC Summer 20233rd3rd
LEC Spring 20232nd1st
LEC Winter 20231st2nd

As the third split neared its Playoffs, the positions in the LEC Season Finals 2023 were almost confirmed, leading to reduced suspense among teams. This also translated to lessened enthusiasm among fans to cheer for their teams, thus contributing to the dip in viewership numbers. The premature exit of ibai’s team in the Group Stage left the Playoffs feeling rather uninspiring.

The €160K season-end finals are scheduled to take place from August 19 to September 10 at the Sud de France Arena in Montpellier, France. The six qualifying teams – G2 Esports, MAD Lions, Team BDS, Excel Esports, SK Gaming, and Fnatic are all set to compete. Both fans and organizers are hopeful that this major competition will conclude the season on a high note, with three spots at the 2023 World Championship and a single position at the Worlds Wildcard Qualifiers up for grabs.

General Sport Observer Marc Defaou
reviewed by: Marc Defaou (Sport Expert)

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